Orange Chicken Salad Sandwich

This sandwich makes a light dinner or decent sized lunch. The orange dressing is kind of a pain, but it’s worth it. Next time, I would double the recipe.

gluten-free

Orange Chicken Salad Sandwich

2 leftover boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped (rotisserie chicken would work great)

1 orange, peeled and wedged

2 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/3 c baby fennel, chopped fine

1 scallion, sliced thin

2/3 roughly chopped herbs – I used a mix of mint, basil & cilantro

Lemon juice

1 Tbsp sambal olek

2 cloves garlic, grated

Your favorite mayo – I used Kewpie

Slivered nuts (optional) – I used pistachios

Baby spinach (optional)

Some type of wrap to make it a sandwich

First, the P.I.T.A. dressing. Simmer the orange wedges, honey and vinegar in 300ml of water for about an hour. You want this mix to reduce to a thick syrup when blitzed. Pull and blitz until smooth.

The rest is easy to assemble. Add everything but the mayo, lemon juice, spinach & wrap to a large bowl.

Combine well. Add just enough mayo to stick together, hit with salt & pepper and lemon juice to your taste.

To make a sandwich, pile as much as your wrap can handle on a bed of spinach leaves and roll.

My wraps were large so I only had 2 and was bummed about that

Salsa Shrimp Pasta Salad

This is a fresh, crunchy and satisfying salad perfect for when the mercury is hovering in the punishing zone and you don’t want to be bothered with having to face a hot dinner.

gluten-free, pescatarian

Salsa Shrimp Pasta Salad

1 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp, boiled and chopped

2 cucumbers, chopped

1 jalapeño, deseeded if desired and minced

1 smallish red onion, chopped

1/2 c. your favorite salsa – fresh or jarred; I went jarred

1 avocado, chopped

Juice of 2 limes

1/2 box chickpea pasta, cooked to al dente and drained

2 tsp. cumin

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. chili powder (or chipotle powder)

Generous sprinkle salt, pepper & red pepper flakes

Cherry tomatoes and chopped scallions for garnish if you’ve got either

Boil your pasta to al dente and drain. Set in a large bowl.

Peel and de-vein the shrimp; boil to cook. Drain and set to cool.

Chop the veggies and add to the pasta bowl.

Chop the shrimp into thirds when cool. Add to the bowl.

Add the salsa, spices, avocado, lime juice. Toss well. Taste for seasoning and add a little more if necessary.

Top with the garnishes and serve. I ended up sprinkling all but the first serving with a little more pepper and flaky finishing salt and that was about perfect.

Serves 4

A Riff On Moroccan Bidaoui Couscous

This is a fantastically versatile couscous dish popular at Eid (fortuitous since I made it on what turned out to be the first day of the holiday celebration).

My version is vegetarian and much simpler than the original – a version of which can be found here. I served mine topped with last week’s tfaya dressing as written the first night and added a splash of lemon zest the next for an even brighter taste.

vegetarian, vegan

A Riff On Moroccan Bidaoui Couscous

The Cous

1 cup couscous

2 cups good broth (I used a nice veggie broth)

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp ghee or butter

Generous sprinkle salt & pepper

2 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 cup chopped parsley

The Veggies

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

4 Roma tomatoes, quartered

2 large carrots, chopped

1/2 small butternut squash

4 small zucchini, chopped

Spice Mix

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

1 tsp ground cayenne

Topper

Tfaya dressing

Slivered almonds

Preheat your oven to 400C/345F and prepare a baking sheet.

Chop your veggies into large pieces and set on the sheet. For the butternut, scoop the seeds and slice into thick half moons.

Sprinkle the spice mix over all, hit with generous salt & pepper and drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil.

Bake 25 – 35 minutes or until your desired brownness is reached.

Scoop the butternut out of the peels and chop. Set all aside while you make the couscous.

Put the couscous in a large bowl, add the turmeric and butter and pour the boiling stock over top. Let sit, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and toss with salt, pepper, olive oil, and parsley.

To serve, top the couscous with the roasted veggies and sprinkle all with slivered almonds & last week’s Tfaya dressing.

Serves 4 – 6

Tunisian Spiced Salad

This is a nice little salad that can be bulked up for a good dinner or served light for a refreshing lunch.

gluten-free, paleo

Tunisian Spiced Salad

Dressing:

1 shallot, minced

2 Tbsp fruity vinegar (I used plum)

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp Ras el Hanout

2 tsp honey

1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses

4 Tbsp oil (olive or neutral)

Large pinches Salt & pepper

Salad:

1 large carrot, ribboned

1 package baby spinach

1/4 c slivered almonds

1 large mango, skinned and cut into bite sized cubes

Protein of choice (I used rotisserie chicken)

Whisk all dressing ingredients in the bottom of a large bowl. Toss the salad ingredients into the bowl as you prep and mix well.

Serve with protein of your choice, or to bulk out – add your favorite grain (Cous cous, bulgur or farro would be great).

Serves 4

Carrot Salad with Hibachi-Style Ginger Dressing

This dressing tastes surprisingly just like that served at hibachi restaurants.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo

Hibachi-Style Ginger Dressing

2 large carrots

5 Tbsp your favorite oil

2 scallions

1 date

3 Tbsp your favorite fruity vinegar (I used ume plum)

2 Tbsp pineapple juice (I suspect orange would work well, too)

1/3 c Kewpie mayo

1 inch ginger

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Generous pinch salt & pepper

Water to thin if needed

Blitz all dressing ingredients together, thinning out with a little water if necessary.

A Salad To Go With It

1 – 2 carrots, ribboned

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 huge hand full green beans, chopped

3 smallish Persian cucumbers, diced

2 scallions, chopped

1 avocado, chopped

Toppers: sesame seeds, flaky salt, pepper, sambal or other spice

The dressing serves 6 or so; the salad makes enough for 3 – 4 dinners when supplemented with a protein

Sunshine Shrimp Chopped Salad

This is an addictive little hit of Summer sun in a bowl; perfect for those mid-Winter blues.

gluten-free, paleo, pescatarian

Sunshine Shrimp Chopped Salad

Protein

1 – 1.5 lb peeled and deveined shrimp

Juice of 2 oranges

3 Tbsp salt

1/2 yellow onion, chopped rough

2 cloves garlic, chopped rough

Hand full cilantro

3 c water

First, poach your shrimp in the mix above a couple minutes or until cooked through. Remove. If your shrimp were frozen and pre-cooked like mine, heat till warmed through. You’ll still get a bit of that delicious poaching liquid taste. It’s fine.

Dressing

4 Tbsp cashew butter

1 tsp your favorite sweetener (I used date molasses)

1 tsp rice vinegar

1 tsp lemon juice

1-2 tsp sambal olek

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

Sprinkle salt & pepper

Salad Base

Couple hand fulls green beans per serving, cut in thirds and poached in the shrimp liquid until crisp-tender

1/2 avocado per serving

1/2 – whole segmented and chopped orange per serving

6-10 cherry tomatoes, halved, per serving

Sprinkle soy

Sprinkle sesame seeds

Sprinkle flaky salt

How many this serves depends on how starving you are – this *could* serve 2 for lunch as written, or just a really hungry me. You do you

Mango Chive Salad

Although it is not, regrettably, high mango season where I live – I just couldn’t resist some particularly tantalizing ruby red beauties in the grocery last week. Here, we are starting to dread the summer heat – while hanging on to every last shred of cool weather (and the winds they bring). I thought a nice, refreshing salad was just the thing to combat those spring ‘I’m not ready for surface of the sun temps’ blues.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Mango Chive Salad

1 large mango (if you’ve got a big boy, or 2 smaller), skinned and chopped

3 small Persian cucumbers or 1 large English variety

1/4 c chives, snipped

1 jalapeño, seeded

1/4 c pepitas

2 Tbsp lemon juice (or more to taste)

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 Tbsp your favorite mustard (I used Dijon, but my love – grainy Maille – would also be great here)

2 tsp honey, agave or date molasses

2 Tbsp your favorite neutral oil (or neutral-ish; I used olive)

2 tsp any fruit vinegar (I used ume plum)

1 red bell pepper

Optional add-ins for bulk: Hand full simply stir-fried snow peas, 1/4 – 1/2 avocado per serving

Optional add-ins for protein: rotisserie chicken, shrimp or sesame tofu

Chop the cucumber into bite-sized pieces and add to a large bowl.

Chop and add the red pepper & half the jalapeño and add to the bowl.

Snip the chives into small bits and add.

Add half the mango (I had a big boy so I added about a cup and a half, reserving about half a cup of mango for the dressing).

Toss all and set aside.

In the carafe of your blender, add: the other 1/2 cup or so of mango, the second half of the jalapeño, garlic, pepitas, lemon juice, mustard, sweetener, oil, and vinegar. Whiz to combine. Salt to taste.

Toss the salad with the dressing and any add-ins. Whack with a sprinkle flaky salt & black pepper to finish.

Serves 2 as a big meal-sized salad; 4 if you’re adding in the proteins & bulk items

Roasted Potato Salad with Miso Tahini Dressing

This is a quick little salad that is easy to scale up to feed a crowd.

As written, this dressing recipe makes extras. I drizzled some on a fruit salad (kinda crappy mango & persimmon), and swirled a dollop into a quinoa brown rice mix for an extra creamy kick. Delicious.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Roasted Potato Salad with Miso Tahini Dressing

250g baby potatoes

Big hand baby spinach

1 clove minced garlic

Big hand cherry tomatoes

2Tbsp. tahini

2tsp. soy sauce or coconut aminos

1tsp. white miso

1tsp. date molasses or maple syrup

2tsp. citrus juice

Oil, salt & pepper

Optional topper: feta (mine was vegan feta)

Preheat oven to 375F and line a baking sheet.

Bring a small pot of water to boil and parboil the potatoes 7 minutes or until almost done.

Halve the potatoes (or quarter if they’re a bit large) and add to the sheet. Drizzle with oil and season liberally with salt, pepper and any other spice you love (I used a chicken spice mix). Spread potatoes out into a single layer.

Lightly smush with the bottom of the pot or something heavy.

Bake 15 mins or until desired crispness is reached.

In a small bowl, whisk the tahini, soy sauce, sesame oil, miso & citrus juice to make dressing. Thin with a little water to your desired consistency.

Add the potatoes, spinach, garlic & tomatoes to a large bowl, and toss with dressing.

Serves 2 for dinner

Blackberry Butternut Salad with Miso Mustard Tahini

This is a fresh little counterpart to heavy holiday dinners.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

Blackberry Butternut Salad with Miso Mustard Tahini

1 small butternut squash

1 small package blackberries

Baby spinach

Candied pecans (I used Thanksgiving leftovers – spiced maple flavor)

Vegan feta

2 Tbsp. maple syrup

3 Tbsp. neutral oil

2 tsp. granulated garlic

2 tsp. onion powder

Generous sprinkle red pepper flakes

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

2 tsp. white miso

2 Tbsp. tahini

Preheat your oven to 375F and prepare a baking sheet.

Peel the butternut and chop into inch-ish chunks. spread out on the baking sheet.

In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, oil, garlic, onion & red pepper.

Pour the sauce over the squash and toss to coat evenly. Spread in a single layer on the baking sheet.

Season with salt & pepper & bake 12 minutes, stir and bake an additional 12 minutes or until your desired brownness has been reached.

While the squash is baking, whisk together the lemon juice, Dijon, miso & tahini. Thin with a little water to your desired consistency.

In a large bowl, add the spinach, the still warm from the oven squash and the dressing. Toss well to combine & wilt the spinach a bit.

Add the nuts, blackberries & vegan feta and toss again. Season with more salt & pepper.

Serves 4 for dinner

Pomegranate & Fig Salad

I made this as an accompaniment to some killer meatballs (recipe coming next week), but this dish as it is would be great as a holiday side or studded with any protein of choice for a rounded out meal.

Note: I completely forgot to do so when making this recipe, but chucking a couple big hands of baby spinach was a fantastic way to dress up the leftovers and add a nutrient punch.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Pomegranate & Fig Salad

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into inch-ish chunks

6 figs, sliced (I had dried on hand but fresh would be even better)

1/4 c. pecans, chopped

1/3 c. pomegranate arils

Tahini & pomegranate molasses to drizzle

Salt & pepper

Your favorite seasoning – I used a spicy creole mix

Oil

Preheat your oven to 200C/375F. Prepare a baking sheet.

Chop the sweet potato into inch-ish chunks, drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper & seasoning, spread out onto a baking sheet and bake until your desired level of doneness is achieved. I let mine go until the pieces were almost crispy.

Toss with the rest of the ingredients and drizzle with the sauces.

As noted in the head notes, a good couple hands of baby spinach and your protein of choice would round this out to a great meal.

Serves 2- 3